Beer Maker Charles Wells Sells Brewery To Marston's
Brewer Charles Wells Ltd has announced it has agreed terms to sell its brewery and brand sales interests to Marston’s PLC for a cash consideration of £55 million.
The sale includes the UK distribution rights for Kirin Lager, Estrella Damm, Erdinger and Founders. The wine merchants Cockburn & Campbell will also transfer.
The British brewery added that its other assets, including pubs in the UK and France, are not included in the sale. Charlie Wells and John Bull beers will also remain part of Charles Wells Ltd.
Employees at the brewery in production, national sales, and brands marketing will transfer to Marston’s.
Justin Phillimore, chief executive of Charles Wells Ltd, said, “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Marston’s to acquire our brewery and become a close trading partner.
“After a detailed review of our strategy we had decided to re-balance the company more towards retail investment and that meant finding a partner we could work with for the future. There are opportunities for both companies in this deal and we look forward to bringing them to life.”
Taking A Step Back
Charles Wells said that over the next couple of years it intends to invest in a small new brewery, which will supply beers to its pub customers in the UK and Europe.
It added that brewing and supply agreements will be made with Marston’s for ‘interim brewing and longer term exclusive pub distribution services’. The Charles Wells pub estate will benefit from the wider beer and wine range available from Marston’s.
It said its new strategy is to focus more on local and smaller scale brewing in the UK. ‘The key focus will become the expansion of the managed pub businesses in the UK and France through acquisition’.
The CEO of Marston’s plc, Ralph Findlay, also commented on the deal, saying, “The acquisition of the Charles Wells brewing business builds on Marston’s established brewing prowess and is a further step in our objective to develop the leading premium beer business in the UK market, something that Bedford’s Eagle Brewery will play an important part in.”
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.